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NOTICES

Senators Pratt and Carol Brown: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) recognises that 24 March 2011 is World Tuberculosis Day, in observance of a disease that still claims the lives of 1.7 million people every year and which:

  (i) is currently the leading killer of people living with HIV and the third leading killer of women,

  (ii) has the highest growth in the southeast Asian region, which accounted for the largest number of new tuberculosis (TB) cases in 2008, and

  (iii) could be dramatically reduced by improved detection and diagnosis;

 (b) recognises that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria currently provides more than two-thirds of the global funding to combat TB and that:

  (i) Australia should increase aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income to ensure the resources for TB as well as AIDS and malaria are sufficient to achieve the goal of significantly reducing the number of people suffering from these diseases, and

  (ii) action by Australia to increase its commitment may influence other donor countries to also increase their support; and

 (c) acknowledges that the widespread adoption of the new Xpert diagnostic tool, which cuts the time for diagnosis from several weeks to less than 2 hours, would lead to significant improvements in detection and treatment of TB and requests the Government to facilitate the adoption of Xpert in southeast Asia. (general business notice of motion no. 215)

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig): To move on the next day of sitting—That the following matter be referred to the Procedure Committee for inquiry and report:

 The operation of standing order 55(2) to (5) relating to the meeting of the Senate.

Senator Fifield: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate notes the Gillard Government's reliance on new ad hoc taxes such as the flood tax, student tax, mining tax and carbon tax instead of undertaking genuine tax reform in the national interest. (general business notice of motion no. 216)

Senator Ludlam: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) Main Roads Western Australia has submitted a proposal to build a road to James Price Point through pristine Kimberley bushland which is prime habitat for the bilby, acknowledged as a vulnerable species by both the Western Australian Government and the Federal Government,

  (ii) that building a road through this area would directly destroy the habitat as well as threatening the species by opening up its habitat to predators such as dogs and feral cats,


  (iii) the construction of a major road through this area may contravene the Australian Government's own National Recovery Plan for the greater bilby,

  (iv) the status of the greater bilby in large parts of Western Australia is unclear, as identified in the National Recovery Plan, and

  (v) that the decision to locate a gas hub or other heavy industry at James Price Point is still being considered under the Federal Government's environmental assessment process and this proposal presupposes the outcome of that process; and

 (b) calls for:

  (i) the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) to take careful note of the information provided through the environment protection and biodiversity conservation process and examine the proposal in light of its impact on the endangered bilby, and

  (ii) investment in more scientific research into the status and habitat of the bilby. (general business notice of motion no. 217)

Senator Colbeck: To move on the next day of sitting—That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Senator Conroy) by 6 pm on Thursday, 24 March 2011, a copy of the interim report on the Tasmanian Forestry Negotiations prepared by Mr Bill Kelty, or if the Minister has not yet received the report, within 24 hours of receipt of the report from Mr Kelty. (general business notice of motion no. 218)

Senator Colbeck: To move on the next day of sitting—

 (1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Australia's Food Processing Sector, be established to inquire into, and report by 30 June 2012, on the following matters:

  (a) the competitiveness and future viability of Australia's food processing sector in global markets;

  (b) the regulatory environment for Australia's food processing and manufacturing companies including but not limited to:

   (i) taxation,

   (ii) research and development,

   (iii) food labelling,

   (iv) cross-jurisdictional regulations,

   (v) bio-security, and

   (vi) export arrangements;

  (c) the impact of Australia's competition regime and the food retail sector, on the food processing sector, including the effectiveness of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010;

  (d) the effectiveness of anti-dumping rules;

  (e) the costs of production inputs including raw materials, labour, energy and water;

  (f) the effect of international anti-free trade measures;

  (g) the access to efficient and quality infrastructure, investment capital and skilled labour and skills training; and

  (h) any other related matter.


 (2) That the committee consist of 9 senators, 4 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 3 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate and 2 nominated by any minority party or independent senators.

 (3) That:

  (a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator;

  (b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and

  (c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

 (4) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

 (5) That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and, as deputy chair, a member nominated by any minor party or independent senators.

 (6) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

 (7) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and the deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.

 (8) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

 (9) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to examine.

 (10) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

 (11) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

 (12) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public. (general business notice of motion no. 219)

Senator Siewert: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and places our health system under severe financial strain;

 (b) recognises that Australia has in the past been a world leader in anti-smoking initiatives;


 (c) acknowledges the important ongoing work and recent initiatives of Australian governments to reduce the burden of diseases caused by smoking, including plain packaging, advertising and point of sale bans, mass media campaigns, the Tackling Indigenous Smoking initiative and cessation support;

 (d) expresses concern at the investment of more than $100 million of taxpayers money in shares in international tobacco companies by the Commonwealth Future Fund; and

 (e) calls on the Government to review and revise investment criteria as a matter of urgency to ensure that the Future Fund is invested into ethical enterprises that are consistent with the health and wellbeing of the nation and not into tobacco. (general business notice of motion no. 220)

Senator Siewert: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that 15 April 2011 will denote 20 years since the release of the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991;

 (b) draws attention to increasing and alarmingly high rates of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are 14 times more likely to be incarcerated and represent 26 per cent of our prison population, despite representing less than 3 per cent of our total population and that between 2000 and 2010 their rate of imprisonment increased from 1 248 to 1 892 prisoners per 100 000 adults, as compared to a change from 130 to 134 non-Indigenous prisoners per 100 000 adults;

 (c) raises concern at continuing disproportionately high rates of deaths in custody of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with 269 deaths in custody since the report in 1991, that is, nearly one in 5 of all deaths in custody;

 (d) expresses concern that 20 years later the vast majority of the recommendations of the Royal Commission have not been implemented; and

 (e) calls on the Government to:

  (i) establish a review of the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission to report on progress and map out further action,

  (ii) implement national standards and independent monitoring for places of detention, and

  (iii) implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, including setting up national preventive mechanisms. (general business notice of motion no. 221)

Senator Mason: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) deplores the waste and mismanagement by the Gillard Government which has led to the decision to abolish the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC);

 (b) condemns this decision because the ALTC better directs the expenditure of billions of taxpayers' dollars on teaching and learning in higher education;

 (c) considers that, in light of the Gillard Government nominating education and skills as top priorities for 2011, the abolition of the ALTC sends the signal that, despite its rhetoric, the Government does not care about improving excellence in teaching and learning;

 (d) considers that the abolition of the ALTC will have a deleterious effect on the Bradley agenda for higher education reform, particularly the Government's commitment to increase the participation in higher education to 40 per cent of all 25 to 34 year olds by 2025; and


 (e) notes that more than 2 200 concerned citizens have now signed an electronic petition calling for the ALTC to be retained. (general business notice of motion no. 222)

The Chair of the Community Affairs References Committee (Senator Siewert): To move on the next day of sitting—That the following matter be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 18 August 2011:

The effectiveness of the special arrangements established in 1999 under section 100 of the National Health Act 1953, for the supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines to remote area Aboriginal Health Services, with particular reference to:

 (a) whether these arrangements adequately address barriers experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote areas of Australia in accessing essential medicines through the PBS;

 (b) the clinical outcomes achieved from the measure, in particular to improvements in patient understanding of, and adherence to, prescribed treatment as a result of the improved access to PBS medicines;

 (c) the degree to which the `quality use of medicines' has been achieved including the amount of contact with a pharmacist available to these patients compared to urban Australians;

 (d) the degree to which state/territory legislation has been complied with in respect to the recording, labelling and monitoring of PBS medicines;

 (e) the distribution of funding made available to the program across the Approved Pharmacy network compared to the Aboriginal Health Services obtaining the PBS medicines and dispensing them on to its patients;

 (f) the extent to which Aboriginal Health Workers in remote communities have sufficient educational opportunities to take on the prescribing and dispensing responsibilities given to them by the PBS bulk supply arrangements;

 (g) the degree to which recommendations from previous reviews have been implemented and any consultation which has occurred with the community controlled Aboriginal health sector about any changes to the program;

 (h) access to PBS generally in remote communities; and

 (i) any other related matters.

Senator Williams: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes, with concern, the decision of the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) to assess, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the decision of the Victorian Government to allow the grazing of cattle in the Alpine National Park; and

 (b) further notes the undisputed evidence that cattle grazing in national parks reduces fuel load and reduces the risk and severity of bushfire. (general business notice of motion no. 223)